Jason's Blog

 

The weekly adventures of me - it isn't all eyes and storms... I promise!!!

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Never Stop Learning...

Posted on 10th December, 2018

It would appear I'm pretty slow at updating my blogs, so will try and make a conscious effort to update them more frequently in the future.  In the meantime, plenty to catch up on. 

 

Work is as steady as ever, although about to dip down into the Christmas lull, which does mean there is plenty of time to recover from a relative busy period, as well as to take time to learn some new skills.  I have recently started the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma course at Cardiff University and undertaken Udemy courses in Adobe After EffectsIllustrator and Premier Pro. The coursework and the online lectures associated with both the professional learning and the personal learning has taken a large chunk out of my free time, but will know this will be worth it in the long run!

 

Left optic nerve head

Unravelling the mysteries of the optic nerve head in glaucoma

 

The glaucoma course has been very absorbing - highlighting additional things to look out for when assessing my patients for glaucoma, but also building a greater understanding behind performing some of the many tests that I have to perform during a routine eye examination.

 

I've also had great fun learning how to create digital content through the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. Creating vectors, editing the many storm photos I've taken and making some fun videos whilst getting to grips with visual effects.  I've included a couple below! I hope you enjoy. 

 

When you get accused of always wearing blue...

 

 

Freezing cards in mid-air

 

Well, that's it for now - I hope to get active and post another post again soon!

 

Take it steady,

 

Jason

I Made it to 30!

Posted on 3rd April, 2018

Fanfares please, I am happy to announce that I made it around the sun 30 times this week as Wednesday saw my 30th birthday. It's a bit of a milestone and one I am pleased to have reached. Big milestones mean big celebrations and after 7 days of birthday plans I am now in the position to catch up with the blog. 

 

Tuesday 27th 

Tuesday saw my birthday eve, where I enjoyed a day working in practice with colleagues and friends (of course there was some ribbing that I was getting older...) before heading off in the evening for a great family meal at Henry's Oriental in Chipping Sodbury.  As usual, the food was tasty and everyone enjoyed his fine cuisine. I always enjoy a pint (or two) of the beer that they offer here - Piston Broke, by the Box Steam Brewery in Bristol. Not only does it taste good, but allows me to make the great joke that if I drink too much of it, I'll live up to the name of the beer... (I'll leave you to work that one out!). 

 

My colleagues at F L Wangler Opticians, of whom I locum for, also put together this fantastic image to wish me a happy birthday. I for one think it's excellent - thank you!

 

I laughed a little too hard at this one. Thank you Simon and team!

 

Wednesday 28th 

Happy 30th to me!

 

Hannah woke me a little early so we could chill before she left for work (and to make sure I wasn't too tired for when we had the landlord visit). I had plenty of cards and gifts to open and felt extremely spoiled. I received a voucher for Go Ape from Hannah (something we've both wanted to do together for ages!) and she revealed we would have a night away at The Glove House in Woodstock - a real treat (but more about that on a later post). I also received a power drill, some money and gift vouchers and...a large gift voucher from my future mother-in-law for London Camera Exchange (for a new lens to capture my upcoming adventures in tornado alley this May).

 

After a brief visit by our landlord, I spent the day doing menial things. It was quite good to get a haircut and do a bit of shopping without the feeling of guilt that not working usually brings. The afternoon plans were to see my parents, who came over in the late afternoon, before Hannah came home. She soon whisked me away to the Bell Inn at Old Sodbury for dinner. 

 

Jason at The Bell at Old Sodbury

I'm not used to being spoilt... but I'll let it slide because I'm 30!

 

Hannah and I have both driven by here on numerous occasions and have never visited. We both suggested a visit for my birthday and we are certainly glad that we did. Everything about the place screamed brilliance; from the friendly welcome from the staff to the style and the decor. The menu was varied and the prices more than reasonable. I opted for a pint of Wadworth's 6X to accompany a beef burger and Hannah a coke to wash down a chicken burger. 

 

Now those of you that know me, know that I love a good burger. I have to say that this burger topped the charts in my opinion and it certainly warrants a second visit to eat again.  I haven't stopped raving about it since! 

 

Thank you all for such a wonderful birthday experience and for the cards, gifts and well-wishes!

 

Thursday 29th

You would have thought that the return to work on the Thursday would have been a bump to earth - back to normality. In some ways, yes (there are only so many cataracts you can get excited about!) but I remained in good spirits as I was off for another meal with the practice in the evening. With many good friends to work with, at times, it doesn't feel like work. They kindly bought me some cards and a balloon - as well as treated me to a fantastic meal at Prezzo in Newport. Thank you for your kindness again!

 

Jason and the Wanglers Team in Newport

Enjoying italian food in Prezzos with the staff of Wangler Opticians, Newport

 

After a tasty meal and a social catch up, it was time to retun home and prepare for a busy-looking Easter weekend...although more about that on a later post (hopefully published later this week!)

 

Thank you all again for the lovely birthday wishes, cards and gifts!  

 

Until next time, 

 

Jason

 

EDIT: I know what you are thinking..."Where's the cake!?!?!" - Hannah made one for me, but we didn't get to eat it until the Easter weekend - the post is on its way!  I'll give you a sneak preview of her cake making skills!

 

Jason's 30th Birthday Cake - by Hannah SutlowCAKE!!!!!!

 

The Schloer, the Mop and the Wardrobe

Posted on 26th March, 2018

It's been a busy time since I last wrote to inform you all of my engagement to Hannah and we are still overwhelmed by the well-wishes, cards and gifts we have received to celebrate our news (and currently drowning in Champagne - if anybody wants to come over and help us drink some of the bottles!).

 

The title of this blog pretty much sums up the major events since the last post. After a busy clinic on Friday, I met up with my friend Daryl to ask formally if he's be half of my best man duo planned for the future wedding (the other askee is away on holiday and cant get hold of him...). Thankfully he said yes (although he knows me a little too well and has the worst stories about me - so his speech should be entertaining)!

 

Shit She Said Yes....

Daryl & Charlie's cards from Dragonfly Print / Etsy

 

I found these funny cards on Etsy, which did the job perfectly. Adding a few personal requests and jokes had Daryl reeling in laughter (ok...perhaps not that much, but appreciated that I tried to have a joke!).  By the time I reached home, I was exhausted and unfortunately knocked out a bottle of Schloer over the floor in the kitchen. As if life hadn't taught me many times already, glass bottles and hard surfaces don't get on so well if they meet suddenly and, desperately needing sleep, Hannah and I found ourselves sweeping up glass and Schloer off the kitchen floor instead.  Thankfully, all shards of glass gone and the mess cleaned up...but I won't plan on repeating that in a hurry!

 

With the Schloer done, we shall now move on to the Mop. For those who do not know about the Chipping Sodbury Mop Fair, it is an event that happens in Chipping Sodbury twice a year (usually March and September), where many fairground rides are set up on the highstreet and carnival games line the sides. I remember the Mop from when I was a youngster, often going with my family on the Saturday afternoons when it was quieter. I also remember it from my late teens, where many people of my age at the time (16-18) used it as an excuse to get rowdy and underage drink. It was this that put me off and hadn't really considered returning since. 

 

Hannah and Jason at the Mop Fair

Enjoying the sights and sounds of the Chipping Sodbury Mop

 

Hannah had expressed interest in going, so after a day of building IKEA flatpack furniture (I will get on to that shortly), we dropped the car off at my parents and wandered over to Chipping Sodbury to see wat it was like. Although much quieter than I remembered, the fairground highlights were all there (bar the ferris wheel - much to my relief!).  Hannah and I went upon the Jiminy Cricket Ride (rotating and bouncing) and also the Mega Dance ride (known as Pure Adrenalin' at the Mop).  My levels of daring have dropped significantly after aging and watching the Final Destination movies, so I did feel brave attempting the rides (I used to love them!) and now with experience and a slightly larger belly, I felt every drop and turn. This getting older malarkey isn't any fun! 

 

Pure Adrenalin'? I need pure anti-sickness for these things nowadays...

 

The Mop made for a nice change of atmosphere as we had ordered IKEA wardrobes and a chest of drawers for the weekend, with the plan to make them up. After a few hours of banging and screwing the things together we are now in possession of some storage in our bedroom (not bad considering it's been 5 months since we moved in). The end result looks pretty good...although it is mostly used for Hannah's items (naturally!) I'm sure she will save me a little bit of room...I hope!

 

With my 30th birthday in 2 days time, I have a week of activities planned. Until then, enjoy your week and as always, thanks for reading. 

 

Jason and Hannah

She Said Yes...

Posted on 15th March, 2018

Hello there! This blog post comes with exciting news attached! To those who are close friends and family members, you will already know this news as we would have contacted you personally (or eventually found out on our social media pages), but on March 12th 2018 I found the courage to ask Hannah if she would like to marry me. Now you'll probably know what the answer was (after all, it is printed in big letters above this post!) I've never been so happy to hear the word "YES!"

 

Jason and Hannah get engaged, with Hannah showing her engagement ring

She said yes. That's all that matters in the world right now

 

Many have asked how and where I proposed.  So for those who are interested, here is how it was done (I'll probably leave out some details to keep the wedding speech fresh!).  I have long planned to propose during our upcoming summer holiday in Ibiza, however, Hannah being the bright button that she is (and how bad I am at keeping exciting news to myself), I knew that she had worked it out. This was going to ruin the surprise and have spent the last few months trying to shift attention to hinting it will be during a short break away in Croyde later in the year. 

 

After a pretty bare work calendar this year, finances were a little tighter than how I usually like them, I even implied that I couldn't afford the ring that she had kindly picked out and sent links about to me.  Little did she know that I had already purchased said ring and it was hiding away.  Still pushing for Croyde and portraying lack of disposable income, the scenario was set that she would have no idea that the question would be asked so soon...  All this planning on how to do this sort of reminds me of How I Met Your Mother, where Barney elaborately plans his proposal to Robin - a scene that hits me in the feels every time I watch it - I've included the scene below

 

The Robin, one of my favourite How I Met Your Mother scenes (Credit: Ivo Andonov/YouTube)

 

My plan was not quite as devious or as cunning as Barney's, but I sort of prefer mine as it did result in me becoming the happiest guy in the world!  The rest of the plan sort of was quite basic. Keep the ring nearby at all times and when the moment was right, pop the question. This plan was so it was a surprise to me as well as everyone else, as well as to remove any pressures or expectation. It worked!  As for the rest of the details, you'll have to wait until the wedding speech for that! It'll only be a few years you'll have to wait, as we expect the date to be in May 2020 ;) 

 

Jason and Hannah as shot by Christy Blanch of www.christyblanch.co.uk

The happy couple, as shot by Christy Blanch of Christy Blanch Photography

 

 The great news is that the great work in the "Pre-Wedding Shoot" that got many excited about our news last month proved useful - and may have caused me to hurry up and ask the question. I really recommend the fantastic photographer Christy Blanch, who kindly took our photographs in February.  We are still raving about her great photography skills to everyone we meet, so do feel free to check out her website and also consider purchasing one of her couples shoots. It looks like we will be looking to request her skills again in the near future...

 

Thank you all for taking the time to read our news and we would also like to say thank you to all those who have sent us cards, gifts and posted well-wishes on our social media sites. Until the next post...

 

Jason

 

 

Also...if I have stirred your interest of How I Met Your Mother, one of my favourite TV series of all time, Amazon now sell the complete boxset. It's worth a watch through if you haven't watched it before. I have always thought of myself a bit like the lead character, Ted, and like me, he does find a happy ending. I think also it is available on Netflix, although talks of it being taken off do keep surfacing!

 

Blood, Snow and Cocoadile Tears

Posted on 9th March, 2018

Look at this! I'm writing another blog post. I'm on a roll!  It may be a bit of a weird title for the blog but it sums up the last week or so quite well.  As you may well know (especially if you live in the UK or follow my Storm Chasing Blog), the UK was battered by Storm Emma and a very cold spell from the east (otherwise known as "The Beast From the East"), resulting in chaos as snow brought most of the country to a shut down.

 

Blizzard-conditions in Yate, Bristol

Blizzard-like conditions in Yate on March 2nd 2018

 

Thankfully, my locum diary was empty over this period, so I did not have to worry about battling in to see my patients. Unfortunately it did mean Hannah was unable to get to work on the Friday (although fortunately for me, we got to enjoy the snowy weather together!).  More on the snowy weather can be found on my Storm BlogsThe Beast From the East Meets Storm Emma #1 and The Beast From the East Meets Storm Emma #2. Feel free to check them out if you haven't already!

 

Snow along Shire Way, Yate

Snow conditions along Shire Way in Yate

 

Although nice to have a break and not have to worry about letting people down due to the bad weather, work has been very quiet of late. It has forced me into re-evaluating the way I work and do feel some work changes may occur following the summer.  That said, I am meeting with a potential new client on Wednesday, which will help make sure I am kept busy up until the Storm Chase this coming May.

 

Stress!

I wrote about stress management, whilst mildly stressed. Thankfully I managed to practice what I preached!

With all this time on my hands, I have been able to write a few blogs for both my website and for Prospect Health. I really enjoy writing these blogs as it helps me to both teach training optometrists learn some about working as a qualified optometrist, but also allows me to reflect on my own work.  My latest blog for Prospect Health aims to remind optometrists to be mindful of themselves - we work in a challenging role and stress management is not something we get taught particularly well in university. You can read read Be Mindful...of You! here.

 

Jason with the College of Optometrists' Handbook

Refreshing my knowledge with the College Guidance for Professional Practice

 

On top of blogging and refreshing myself on the latest College of Optometrist's guidelines (fantastic guide came through the post this week!), I have had the chance to unwind on my Xbox One. It's been sometime since I've sat down with a good game and this week I have spent a good majority of it trying to complete the Xbox 360 classic, Viva Pinata. The game consists of a garden and some gardening tools, with your goal to transform the garden to allow different species of um...pinata...to come and visit and reside there. It is a logical thinking game and really helped to keep my mind busy during the quiet week. I've finally come to the end...hence the cocoadile tears! (Cocoadile is one of the species before anybody asks...and yes...I do need a new hobby - or work for that matter!)

 

Viva Pinata for Xbox One

Viva Pinata. With the colourful and happy environment, I wished I was there rather than snowed in!

 

The final big event of the week involves my first ever blood donation. Hannah has wanted me to come to a donor session with her pretty much since we started dating. Last night (Thursday 8th) was the first chance that we both had the opportunity to do so at her usual location in Stroud.  After polishing off an Empire State Burger at The Lord John Wetherspoons, we walked across to the donation centre. After all preliminary checks, I was soon sat donating blood for the first time. 

 

Blood bags

I encourage everyone who can give blood to give blood. It's quick, easy and relatively painless!

 

Interestingly, storm chasing came up as a topic of interest as I was asked if I had any dangerous hobbies or interests. Although storm chasing is potentially dangerous, I am rarely exposed to the elements in a way that injury will result. Additionally, the amount of time I am chasing results in the risk being lessened greatly. I'll definitely be giving blood again when I next possibly can and really encourage those who can give blood to give blood! I've also signed up for the British Bone Marrow Registry, which again is something that people who are able to donate should register for. Those 40 minutes to an hour that you give up really can help save a life. If you are interested in registering, then you can do so via www.blood.co.uk.

 

We struck gold with this tornado, I'm not sure if I'll see another one quite like it!

 

The talk about chasing reminds me that it is only a few months before I fly back out to Tornado Alley to witness some of these amazing sights again. If you wish to follow my adventures with Adam and Olly then feel free to subscribe to me on Facebook: eyesonjasonTwitter: @eyesonjason and YouTube: eyesonjason. My Storm Chasing Blog will be updated daily whilst chasing, so feel free to have a read. 

 

Until my next update, stay safe (and register to donate blood!)

 

Jason

 

Nearly a Year...

Posted on 1st March, 2018

It's been nearly a year since posting my last blog post (well, non-weather blog post anyway!) and I think it is time that I changed that and made blogging a more regular thing. We've had a pretty hectic start to the year, with Hannah enjoying a trip to Australia with friends in January and the purchase of my new car this year too!

 

Jason and Hannah on the beach at Pendine Sands

Enjoying the October sun in Pendine, Wales

 

 The Lacetti was showing its age over recent months and with a big breakdown during our small break at Pendine Sands in October, the car decided to start to need more frequent repairs. I am now the owner of a shiny new Hyundai i30. I'm still trying to get my head around how far car technology has come! The daily drive to work is now much more pleasant! Thank you Berkeley Vale Motors for your help in securing my new car!

 

My shiny new Hyundai i30

My shiny new Hyundai i30

 

There have been a couple of weddings that we have also attended; with my cousin Stu tying the knot with Lisa at Eastington Park in October and Hannah's cousin Helen tying the knot with Craig at Manor By The Lake in November.  I love attending weddings and often wonder how my own will look like in the future - people keep asking when that will be - including Hannah! I'm not sure how much more the answer "soon" will let me off the hook from the questioning though!

 

Jason and Hannah at Eastington Park for Stuart and Lisa's Wedding

Enjoying the wedding reception at Eastington Park for Stuart and Lisa's Wedding

 

I've also become quite attached to guinea pigs. Our landlord has kindly allowed us to move Hannah's guinea pigs from her mum's house in Gloucester to live with us. Unfortunately we lost Jem late in December through a mix of a respiratory illness, kidney problems and cancer (thank you to Keith at Vets4Pets in Yate - your care was brilliant!) Despite this, we now are enjoying the company of Dill and Boo, two young female cavies and they have been provinding us with hours of entertainment. Hannah has even set them up with an instagram account "@pigletpals", so if you want to see their antics then feel free to follow them!

 

Dill and Boo, the Piglet Pals

Boo (bottom left) and Dill (top right), keeping us entertained this year

 

So that is about it in terms of the main catch up, but we do have one other event that I'd like to talk about. Hannah and I were lucky enough to help Gloucestershire photographer Christy Blanch build her couples portfolio. Saturday 24th February saw us head to the grounds of Woodchester Mansion for an outdoor photoshoot. It was crisp morning, but the sun and the frosty ground made for beautiful conditions to have photographs in. Christy was great company and made us feel at ease during the shoot and we have a good 80 photographs that capture us simply perfectly.

 

Jason and Hannah at Woodchester Mansion - February 24th 2018 - www.christyblanch.com - Christy Blanch

One of the photographs taken by Christy Blanch - fully recommended by us both.

Please check out her work at www.christyblanch.com

 

I would highly recommend Christy to any couples - even if you aren't yet engaged or married and her pricing is very reasonable for the quality of her work. A link to her blog on the session can be found HERE, where you can see more photographs from our shoot, but please check out the rest of her site at www.christyblanch.com.  I may not have popped the question yet, but I think we may have found a wedding photographer already! Thank you Christy!

 

Until next time, stay warm during the Beast from the East and thank you for reading!

 

Jason

The week just gone has been probably one of the most exhausting of my career, whereby I think I only managed about 3 routine eye examinations in the 70+ appointments I saw. The rest were either complicated in some way or another, with each patient needing a little longer than the appointment time allocated to be seen. Unfortunately this meant early starts, reduced lunch breaks and also late finishes, so stress levels have risen and energy to do much else than try and relax where possible have not been mustered.  Still, an extra day off this weekend due to it being a bank holiday has really been welcomed and, has allowed me some chance to write this blog post (even if it is 3pm and I'm sat here in my pajamas bottoms still...).

 

As work is a given in each week, the unexpected storms to hit Britain last Tuesday were a huge bonus and definitely helped make the week more manageable. Leaving work with the knowledge it was going to be stormy (an optometrist is not the profession to have if you like looking at the weather from your office - my room for the day was in the middle of a building with no windows!) I glanced out the third floor window of the eye hospital and was greeted by this monstrous looking cloud:

 

Stormy view from the Bristol Eye Hospital 

Stormy skies toward the north east of Bristol

 

Naturally, I rushed out to see the clouds in full view - and they didn't disappoint. The atmosphere was charged and I was very hopefull for some thunder and lightning, although sadly it didn't produce. That didn't stop me from having my forehead glued to the bus window on the way back, watching and hoping though...

 

I got off the bus slightly early as the walk would take me a route where I can see further in the direction the cells were coming from. With the Netweather Storm Radar open and cells in sight, I calculated that it would be about an hour until another cell passed overhead, so visited the Turnpike pub (near the end of my road) and sat with a beer until it hit. The below video is the result:

 

April showers over Staple Hill, Bristol on Tuesday April 25th 2017

 

If you want more Bristol storm action; check out my Storm Blog shortly as I was treated to another show today (and yes...I had to abandon writing this post to follow it!).

 

Bar a few more days of work and a visit to Gloucester to see Hannah, the week has otherwise been uneventful. Saturday involved a morning of work, before an afternoon editing the website, before I decided to watch Bristol City (sorry for swearing) play Brighton on Sky Sports over at the Bar 501. Although it was entertaining to watch Taylor miss an easy shot again, credit where credit is due, City played well and won the game 1-0. 

 

The main highlight of the weekend was that of Bristol Rovers' last game against Millwall. Rovers had nothing to play for, Millwall had the Play-Offs to drop out of.  It was a charged game with both teams refusing to be beaten. Some of the players that have been a bit lacklustre of late appeared to be hungry to finish the season with a flourish. Sadly, the first two goals went to Millwall, under quite dubious circumstances - especially their second - with their goalscore a clear 2 yards offside with his strike. Soon after Jermain Easter finished a great eeffort from Billy Bodin to make it 2-1. Our elation was short-lived as Millwall soon made it 3-1 after some poor defending by Chelsea loanee, Jake Clarke-Salter.  

 

Highlights of Bristol Rovers' defeat against Millwall (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)

 

The game went into half time at 3-2 after Billy Bodin set up Rovers' fan and highly ranked player Chris Lines, who drilled the ball beyond the hands of the Millwall goalkeeper. It was a superb shot and well taken goal.  Millwall were looking rather edgy when the second half began and, with the strong wind now on Rovers' side, they pushed forward and applied heavy pressure on the Millwall defence. A free kick just outside the box was awarded after a Millwall foul and Man of the Match, Billy Bodin, stood up and scored a tremendous free kick. 3-3 and as it stood, Millwall were out of a play-off place.

 

Police and stewards guard the Millwall supporters

Many stewards and police officers surround the Millwall supporters

 

Tensions were high and, as elated as Gasheads were, I'm sure many were anxious in case there was trouble after the game.  It wasn't long before we lost the ball (a clear foul on Luke James as he was clear through on goal - but not given) and led to a Millwall corner, from which they scored from. The game ended at 4-3 and, despite the loss, most Rovers fans were left feeling exhilarated from an exciting game of football. 

 

 It's going to be some time before our next game - friendly, competitive or otherwise, so will be a bit of gap before I catch up with my football buddies Jack and Liam, as well as seeing my uncle Andy as often. Still - roll on the 2017/18 season and fingers crossed for another thriller. 

 

Football Friends

Enjoying the match atmosphere with my uncle Andy, Jack and Liam

 

And with that, comes the end of another week. Lots planned for this week ahead, so keep tuned for my next update. Until then, have a great week!

 

Jason

 

P.S. Here is the video of the storm that distracted me from this blog entry! Enjoy!

 

Like, comment and subscribe!

 

 

 

Lovely Weekend...Play-Off Hopes Dashed

Posted on 24th April, 2017

After the recent few weeks full of excitement, the last week has quietened down somewhat. Unfortunately I was unwell in the week and also hurt my back helping a patient, which meant that the ability to enjoy life to the full was not easy!  The weekend however, was really chilled and gave me a good chance to recover. Also, those eagle-eyed among you will notice that the Vision Science section of the website has sprung to life. Check it out if you want to know a bit more about how we see...

 

The weekend mostly centred around Hannah's visit to Bristol, where we caught up with our weeks. It wasn't too long since I visted her in Gloucester, where we enjoyed a day exploring with ingress, as well as made our presence known to the local ingress community. Most of the weekend has been spent watching our current favourite shows: Taskmaster, Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish and The IT Crowd - shows that I have seen before, but are ones I can watch time and time again. It definitely is good to see Hannah enjoying the same things as I do - well I hope she's enjoying them!

 

Whilst catching up and watching some shows, I failed to remember that Rovers were playing their penultimate game of the season against Peterborough. The occasional check on the results were depressing; Rovers 2-0, then 4-0 down, followed by a brace by Rovers' striker Rory Gaffney to make the final result 4-2. It was a disappointing result as the loss meant that Rovers are now out of contention for the play-offs. What was even more heartbreaking was the fact Southend and Millwall lost as well...meaning we had a real shot of sneaking into the last play-off spot on the final game of the season this coming Sunday... The highlights of the game can be seen below:

 

"Highlights" of the crushing defeat of Bristol Rovers vs Peterborough (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)

 

Disappointment aside, the day picked up. The sun was shining, it was feeling warm and we were meeting my close friends Charlie and Sarah in Fishponds for a meal at Porto Lounge. The lounge is one of many in the south west area and a meal here is a great experience. I have been here previously for breakfast and found the food of high quality. They cater for vegans (although, this shouldn't affect my menu choice...the meatier...the better!) and have a great reputation in the area. I settled for a pint of IPA and a Brunch Burger from the specials menu.  If you are in the Bristol area, then you should definitely pop by and sample the menu. Fun Fact: The first of the Lounges was actually built in an old opticians store (got to like the link to eyes!)

 

The evening ended with a small drink at the Staple Hill Oak before heading home to watch a few more episodes of Dave Gorman and Taskmaster...it really was a weekend heavy on television!  Another thing both Hannah and I are into right now is the Fallout Shelter game. This "freemium" game has to be the biggest drain on my time...it is so addictive and like having multiple tamagotchis that need pandering to. I was a big fan of Fallout 4 so I also think I may be drawn into this because of that...  I'll let you know how the game develops...

 

Fallout Shelter

My Fallout Shelter... with world tensions as they are, makes sense to start

planning the construction of one, right?

 

Sunday soon cameby and, after a lazy start, our day progressed to playing Ingress in Page Park. The weather was once again very warm and skies showing signs of slight convective activity (nothing much...but enough to make me excited for full-blown convection in Tornado Alley next month...). We managed to eat a decent sized Mr Whippy Ice Cream, before slowly ambling back to the flat again to relax in front of another episode of Taskmaster...

 

I did get a brief interruption midway through, by a neighbour who had rolled his car (by accident) into mine due to a failed handbrake. Thankfully minimal damage was done and if I am honest, wouldn't have noticed if he hadn't informed me... Still, I thanked him for telling me and told him to enjoy the rest of his evening as it appears no harm done.

 

And with that note...I shall catch you in the next blog post. Have a lovely week! 

A Loss, a Win and an Easter Weekend Blurt

Posted on 19th April, 2017

As promised, the blog continues. Other than a bit of a sickness bug that I'm fighting through today, the last week has been a brilliant one.  It incorporated an Easter weekend, so there were plenty of days off and plenty of time to spend time with the family and see some friends. 

 

The news of a great start to last Wednesday came in the form of a mysterious package. I was on one of my now regular days off and taking a shower, when my flat buzzer rang. Thinking it might be one of the local kids buzzing it for a prank, I carried on with my shower. When it rang again 30 seconds later, curiosity got the better of me and I rushed to answer it... pretty much giving my hallway a wash with the dripping water of a half-showered me!  It was the postman, informing me of a parcel, of which he was leaving inside the doorway of our reception. Curiosity got the better of me still...and putting on the bare minimum of clothes, I flew down the stairs to find a parcel, addressed to me, awaiting on the bottom step.  I had no idea what it was, or who had sent it... Opening it up, I found it to be a Blurt Buddy Box...

 

The Blurt Buddy Box (and contents)

A gift from someone who really cares. The box had a bath bomb, tea bags, a pin badge, a pencil

case and a book called "You Are a Badass", which is to help boost self esteem.

 

"A Blurt Buddy Box? What's that?" I hear you say. In fact they were the same words I used when I opened it up. I've seen many box gifts (such as Loot Crate and MyGeekBox) but didn't remember ordering one. Inside a card saying "Love you xxx" gave me a clue on who sent it. My wonderful girlfriend, Hannah. She had picked up on my phrase "I'm just Jason", which is a bad habit I have - picked up by how some people treat me as someone who won't matter regardless of what they do and say. This box set off a strong emotional pick-me-up and was definitely the highlight of my week. I'm very lucky to have found someone who knows how to cheer me up! 

 

The Blurt Buddy Box is from The Blurt Foundation, who work on raising awareness about depression and helping those affected by it. It is a wonderful organisation and, although not currently affected by depression myself, I certainly had a real self-esteem boost from receipt of this box. I'll definitely keep them in mind in the future if I see a friend that is down or needing a boost.  You can also support their work by donating to them online. 

 

Thursday involved a very hectic day of work in Chippenham, with a lot of tricky cases to sort through. The thought of meeting Hannah in Gloucester that evening helped me battle through. I met with her and her mum and I treated them to a lovely meal at the Wagon and Horses Sizzler Pub. After tucking into a sizeable Surf 'n' Turf meal, the rest of the evening was spent relaxing, getting set for the Easter weekend.

 

Good Friday came quickly and most of this was spent travelling home and tidying the flat. I listened to what seemed like a dire performance from Bristol Rovers on their away game at Gillingham. It was a must-win game in order to keep Bristol Rovers' play-off hopes in tact. Sadly a 3-1 loss, with play-off rivals Southend and Millwall both winning, has really put the fate of the play-off race into the hands of the gods. It is still mathematically possible, but there is a better chance of me winning the Lotto. I embed the "highlights" of the game below.

 

"Highlights" of Gillingham vs Bristol Rovers on 14/04/2017 (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)

 

As disappointing as this was, Saturday was the next on the agenda. More flat tidying (I still wonder how I managed to get the place in such a mess...) and a meet up with my friend Andrew for an Ingress meeting, I prepared for Hannah to arrive. I managed to undertake a big grocery shop (something I seem to have put off for a few months...) so actually had some food in the house. A quiet night in happened, in preparation for Easter lunch at my parents' house on Easter Sunday.  Hannah had prepared a batch of cupcakes to bring along to the meal...she really has such a talent!

 

Bunny Bum Cupcakes

Bunny Bums - as made by Hannah. I think these were one of the highlights of Easter 2017

 

The meal was superb (thanks mum and dad!) and it was really nice to see the family - nan, sister and stepbrother (with partners included!). Mum had also arranged a fun activity that day too, one that took us back to being kids again... a full-blown Easter egg hunt!  I wasn't particularly very good at it, but it was fun nonetheless.  After a day of hunting for eggs and eating chocolate in unhealthy amounts, we returned home to prepare for the last big even this Easter weekend... Hannah's first Rovers game...

 

I was very shocked to know I wouldn't be going to football with just my uncle for this game, but it was a pleasant shock! Rovers were to take on Oldham at the Memorial Stadium, again, another must-win game. It wasn't the most thrilling of matches, but Rovers edged into the lead with a goal from Ellis Harrison. It sounded like Hannah enjoyed her first game and from what she said, it's looking like it may be a regular occurrence... The highlights (below) are much more enjoyable to watch than that of the Gillingham game.

 

Slightly better work from Rovers in their game against Oldham on 17th April 2017 

(Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)

 

That concludes this week's bumper blog post - there is lots more happening this week and I aim to update this as soon as the week is over and I have time. But until then, enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Another week has flown by and we are nearing the mid-point of April 2017. It really is hard to believe that the year is flying by so quickly and it will be storm chasing season in a month's time. If you aren't already following my storm blog, then make sure you check it out!

 

Rovers had yet more luck on the final run in of games of the 16/17 season with a 1-0 win over Wimbledon. Byron Moore managed to find the net after only 11 seconds of play, making it one of the fastest scored goals in footballing history. The goal was enough to seal victory, although from the BBC radio commentary it would appear Rovers were lucky to hold on to their win. The highlights of the game, including the 11 second goal, can be seen below.

 

Highlights of Wimbledon vs. Bristol Rovers (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)

 

Sunday involved catching up with my girlfriend and we headed out to the Bristol Harbourside to enjoy the warm and sunny weather. It was such a beautiful day out that we really couldn't excuse ourselves if we stayed in. Catching the bus into town, we walked around the centre and across to Hotwells. It was very busy but we still had a pleasant walk. 

 

Part of the walk we saw some of the model speedboats being raced around - initially we saw two, but they seemed to materialise out of thin air until five were spotted. I managed to take a video clip of them racing around (see below). Definitely a good day for it! We eventually stopped for a drink to refresh ourselves at the BSB Bar on the waterside. Sun and Heineken (with great company) certainly helped top off a great weekend.

 

R/C Speedboats in Bristol Docks (Source: www.eyesonjason.com)

 

Our day out ended with a stop off at the Bay Horse (yes...it seems like this place is becoming a regular haunt for me lately), where we refuelled with burgers and hunter's chicken, before catching the bus home. 

 

This week has already taken off with a great start...and I'll let you know more on my Easter update! Until then, as always, thanks for stopping by.